In our fast-paced and tech-centered culture, finding inner peace and calm is key to staying well, balanced, and enjoying life. Stress and anxiety can sabotage even our most fervent efforts to cleanse and heal our bodies: total health requires a holistic approach.
Eating a plant-centered diet, drinking green smoothies, and utilizing ongoing and periodic cleansing will yield wonderful results, but learning to manage stress well is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our long-term health goals. If you are embarking on a 21-Day Cleanse your body needs extra stress support to cleanse, rest, and heal effectively. Check out the following apps to help reset and de-stress even the most challenging day.
- Calm - This beautiful app feels instantly soothing. Sounds of nature create an immediate sense of serenity, and with a choice of 16 free meditations, guided or less so, with sessions of 3 to 30 minutes apiece, there are many options for relaxation. There are meditations for beginners, such as Body Scan, Loving-Kindness, and 7 Days of Calm; and also meditations which focus on a variety of concerns and needs, such as Anxiety, 7 Days of Managing Stress, Deep Sleep, and the Breaking Habits series. Sleep Stories for adults soothe the mind, and help power down the day, enabling a deeper and more restorative night’s sleep. Calm is available for free for iOS or Android, and also offers subscriptions which unlock more features and options.
- Aura - Created by leading therapists and meditation teachers, and powered by artificial intelligence, Aura’s platform offers personalized, daily meditations specifically targeted to relieve stress and anxiety. Channels are added weekly, such as Mindfulness for Parents, Mindfulness for Stress and Anxiety, and Cultivating Happiness. Also featured is a community section where you can connect with Aura’s teachers and other members to share experiences and exchange support. You can download Aura on Android and iOS, and the app is free. Aura Premium is available for $4.99 a month and unlocks over 500 meditations.
- Relax Melodies - Designed with the sole purpose of enhancing, restoring, and deepening your sleep, this app offers science-based strategies and best practices to help you fall asleep faster, and sleep soundly through the night. Relax Melodies provides an extensive library of sleep focused meditations, nature sounds, melodies, and white noise selections, and also features the Introduction to Better Sleep Program, which helps implement strategies for a healthier repose. Available in iTunes for iOS and Android.
- Breathe2Relax - This app is a stress management tool based in diaphragmatic and deep belly breathing exercises. Such exercises have been shown to regulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which decreases the body’s stress (fight or flight) response, and helps stabilize moods, soothe anxiety, and reduce anger. The app’s stress tracker rates your stress level before and after the exercise to keep track of any changes. Breathe2Relax is free to download on iOS or Android.
- Stop, Breathe & Think - Created by nonprofit Tools for Peace, this app features a survey to gauge how you’re feeling, and then recommends specific meditations and exercises for you. The basic app offers a Learn to Meditate session, and then meditations cluster under headings such as Gain Resilience, Acupressure, and For Kids. Each cluster offers a meditation in the basic app, and a Premium subscription unlocks several more meditations within each category. Find it in iTunes for Android or iOS.
- Pacifica - By combining components of therapy, relaxation, and healthy habit building, Pacifica offers a daily check-in to assess your mood and current stress level, and suggests helpful activities and strategies that support better mental health and well-being. There is also extensive community support available for specific issues such as PTSD, social anxiety, and depression, among many others. Meditations such as Eating Mindfully, Taking a Mental Vacation, and Handling Challenges are available, and a subscription unlocks the full suite of available options. Available for iOS and Android.
Whether you are coping with chronic anxiety or stress, or simply need an occasional breather, stress-reducing techniques are a powerful way to practice self-care. Like meditation, stress management is a skill set that improves with time and practice. Be gentle with yourself in the process, pick a method or two that you especially resonate with, and give it some time each day. As you learn to regulate stress more easily and deeply, you’ll find a new sense of empowerment that enhances your health in profound ways.
Written by Carolyn de Lorenzo
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